Thurs 12 May (2)
Such a brilliant morning - huge thanks to Hollyfield, Tolworth Girls', Southborough, Shrewsbury House and St Matthew's Primary Schools and to our panellists Sir Ed Davey MP, Elliot Newton and Alison Holt from RBK and Jack Edwards from Southwark Diocese. So many good ideas and so much passion from our young people - it was inspiring to hear their commitment to our planet!
Hollyfield School encouraged us all to sign up for next week's Big Plastic Count - for more details take a look HERE
and a short explanatory video here
Thurs 12 May
Lots of energy and excitement in Church today, as we eagerly await the start of our first
Eco-Schools event. Local schools have been invited to a panel event with local MP, Sir Ed Davey; and representatives from Kingston Council and the Church of England.
The event will bring together young people from different schools in the local area – primary and secondary, state and independent – to share experiences and ideas. We hope that it will allow schools to showcase what they are already doing in terms of eco-initiatives, and to be inspired and hopefully to create new partnerships.
Mon 9 May
What a great AwayWeekend it was - and here we all are!
Also if you are interested in reading the Diocesan newspaper The Bridge do click HERE
Thurs 5 May
We are looking forward to going away for our Away Weekend. We will be thinking about our motto verse and how to be 'Easter People'
It's a lovely opportunity to have a good time together.
Tues 4 May
Our brothers and sisters at Kingsgate Church in Kingston are asking for our support for this very worthwhile project - is it something you could help with?
The Bridge is a telephone befriending service for 18-65 year olds set up by KingsGate Church in Kingston Upon Thames. This project was initially set up during the COVID-19 pandemic to reach out to people who were finding the lack of socialisation challenging and were experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation.
We are continuing to offer this service to support those who are struggling with isolation and low mental health needs.
Our desire is that although KingsGate have set up The Bridge, this is a service that any church in the borough can partner with and that we link clients to a befriender who attends a church local to them. In that way, if the client wants more contact than telephone befriending, there is a link to a church near them.
The basic process is as follows:
· Volunteers from churches within the borough have references checked and are provided with training
· Volunteers commit to a minimum of 6 weeks (1 call to client per week, max 1 hr)
· Service users are referred to The Bridge via local charities and organisations
· A volunteer is assigned to a service user and contacts the service user by phone
· Volunteer phones the service user for a chat once a week for six weeks
· After 6 weeks there is a review to determine if the client wants to continue, if the chats are helping them, if there are other services or community activities they can be pointed towards and if the volunteer is happy to continue.
Full details of process, training, supervision and safeguarding will be explained to volunteers in training.
Our partner charities and organisations are aware that the volunteers running this service are members of churches and therefore their faith may play a part in the conversations. Equally these telephone conversations are not preaching opportunities for volunteers. They are a space for volunteers to help and demonstrate love for people who are struggling, to minister to Jesus by ministering to those he cares about and to talk about Jesus and pray with the client where they indicate they would like that.
If you would like to volunteer for this service, or to attend an introductory training meeting to find out more, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wed 27 April
It was good to be able to share in the Scout family's celebration of St George's Day with a service for 1st Tolworth (St Matthew's) last Sunday. As Beavers, Cubs and Scouts renewed their promises, we thought about the importance of commitment and remembered the Abraham Lincoln saying that 'Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality'.
Tues 5 April
With most of our congregation back in church and the Notice Sheet available at services and online HERE
we are not focusing on keeping our Keeping in touch page so up to date. We will post occasional items but this will not be so regular as before.
If you want to check out what is happening across the Diocese do look at the Bridge newspaper online HERE
Fri 26 March
Our friend Wendy has designed us another beautiful Easter Services leaflet, it has the details of all our Easter Services.
Fri 25 March
It is our Annual Parishioner's Meeting followed by our Annual Parochial Church Meeting at 10.00am on Sunday 3 April. Our Annual Report and Accounts 2012 can be accessed HERE
Eco-tip, please read it online and only print it if you absolutely have to.
Mon 28 Feb
Just a reminder that the Electoral Roll is open for application. The notice posted in church can be seen here
and the application form is available here
. Just drop your completed form into the box at the back of church by Wednesday 16 March.
Thurs 24 Feb
As we heard the terrible news this morning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we hold the people in our prayers:
Sat 5 Feb
Great PCC Morning today with the three THiS Team PCCs joining together to think through Mission and Children and families work across the three churches.
Also if you are interested in reading Southwark Diocese Newspaper 'The Bridge' click HERE
Wed 26 Jan
So, we launched the Motto Verse last Sunday and once again we are indebted to Wendy Dobing for her wonderful design and the photograph which she took a few months ago between Surbiton and Kingston; so a wonderfully local scene to embed the Motto Verse in our everyday lives. Copies for your fridge, desk, car or elsewhere are available from church.
Send Helen a picture of the most inventive place in which you display it or a story about how it has started a good conversation!
ALSO don't forget our Quiz Night at the cornerHOUSE Douglas Road on Sat 12 Feb - teams of 4 on socially distanced tables - come as a Team or join one on the night. Be there from 6.45pm ready for a prompt start at 7pm. Paying bar and bring your own nibbles. Ideally contact Dave Farris to let him know you are coming either in church or at email@example.com or 07540 702400. Donations for Kingston Action on Homelessness on the night.
Sat 15 Jan
A couple of things:
We are having trouble with our streaming software connecting to Facebook you may have to watch tomorrow's services on YouTube. Apologies for any inconvenience - we will try to fix it for next week.
This coming Tuesday the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
begins. If you would like to follow the daily readings and resource please click HERE
and this is what the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland say about it on their website:
The story of the Magi visiting the Holy Family in Bethlehem is one very familiar to us. The Magi have sometimes been seen as a symbol of the world’s diversity – different religions and cultures – that comes to pay homage to the Christ-child. The story might therefore represent the unity of all created that God desires.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2022 has been prepared by the churches of the Middle East, the history of which was, and still is, characterised by conflict and strife, tainted with blood and darkened by injustice and oppression. The Christians of the Middle East offer these resources conscious that the world shares many of the travails and much of the difficulties that it experiences, and yearns for a light to lead the way to the Saviour who is the light that overcomes darkness.
Serving the Gospel today requires a commitment to the human being, especially the poorest, the weakest and those marginalised. It requires from the churches transparency and accountability in dealing with the world, and with each other. This means churches need to cooperate to provide relief to the afflicted, to welcome the displaced, to relieve the burdened, and to build a just and honest society. This is a call for churches to work together so that young people can build a good future according to God’s heart, a future in which all human beings can experience life, peace, justice, and love.
And finally the prayer which hopefully all the churches across Surbiton will be using next Sunday as a sign of our unity:
When we only know one way and we think we must return to it,
when we think that all roads are blocked, and we fall into despair,
we always find you there, creating a new unexpected path before us.
If we search our maps and find no route,
nonetheless we always find you,
who leads us by a yet more excellent way,
trusting that you will always lead us back to you and forward in unity together. Amen.
Thurs 6 Jan
As part of our commitment to the maintenance of our church building as the work is being done to repair the stone work we are also having replaced the stone crosses which were lost many years ago. We hope to have them in church one Sunday for people to see close up before they are reinstated but here is a closer look at them - such craftsmanship!
Wed 5 Jan
This coming Sunday at both our services you will have the opportunity to join in the Covenant Prayer. Taken from the Methodist Church, the words are weighty and deserve prayerful attention both in advance and afterwards.
Here they are:
I am no longer my own but yours.
Your will, not mine, be done in all things, wherever you may place me,
in all that I do and in all that I may endure;
when there is work for me and when there is none;
when I am troubled and when I am at peace,
your will be done.
When I am valued and when I am disregarded;
when I find fulfilment and when it is lacking;
when I have all things and when I have nothing.
I willingly offer all that I have and am to serve you, as and where you choose.
Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.
May it be so for ever.
Let this covenant now made on earth be fulfilled in heaven,
Tues 4 January 2022
A rather belated Happy New Year to all.
Just to say that we are suspending refreshments once again at least for Sunday 9 January.
Please take a Lateral Flow Test before attending a service, and do not attend if you have symptoms of Covid-19.
Masks must be worn in church, unless an exemption applies.
Tues 21 Dec
Thanks to everyone who came along to our Carols By Candlelight services on Sunday - there was a wonderful atmosphere . . .
Mon 13 Dec
We are very grateful to the Allchurches Trust who have made a award of £1,500 towards the cost of our current stone renovation work. This is the second grant which we have received from Allchurches Trust in the past three years and we are encouraged by their continuing support for our maintenance of the church building.
As an update to the current work, we had hoped that the work would be completed in mid January. Unfortunately once proper inspection could take place with the scaffolding in place, much more stone work was found to be in need of replacement which will extend the works by about 6 weeks (and increase the cost accordingly!)
Mon 6 Dec
Healthwatch Kingston want to better understand the needs of people who are affected by bereavement. This survey is designed to be inclusive of all kinds of loss, including expected or sudden deaths, miscarriages or death of children and young people. It is relevant to anyone affected by a bereavement or supporting someone through grief – before and during the pandemic. You can share your views HERE
and if you want to find St Matthew's in The Bridge, the local Diocesan newspaper, and find out more of what is happening in Southwark Diocese then click HERE
Wed 1 Dec
Once again our Choir will lead the cornerHOUSE community in singing everyone's favourite carols.
The cornerHOUSE Community Arts Centre is at 116 Douglas Road KT6 7She
Welcoming mulled wine and mince pies beforehand (and possibly after!)
Carol sheets provided
This as a relaxed, family-friendly, event and parents are welcome to come and go to fit in with their children’s bedtimes etc.
Admission and refreshments are free.
There will be a retiring collection for St Matthew’s nominated charity.
Free booking through cornerHOUSE tickets HERE
or walk-in on the night ( subject to capacity limits.)
Sun 29 Nov
Wed 24 Nov
STOP PRESS! Mary and Joseph have decided to stay in Airbnbs this year so will not need hospitality in the Parish. Thank you to those who offered - they will be back next year!
Fri 19 Nov
As you may have seen from the opening banner on the website we are delighted to have won the 2021 Nayler Award for Excellence in Church Maintenance. The awards are organised by the National Churches Trust
and supported by The Pilgrim Trust
You can find out more about the award HERE
Of course this is very much a team award. So many volunteers work so hard in many different ways to keep our beautiful church in a good state of repair. We are also blessed with some great partnerships including Nick Bethune our architect from West Scott Architects
the builders currently engaged with Phase Two of our Stonework replacement project, Universal Stone
and our electrician Ian Middleton.
We would like to receive this award in memory of Paul Atkins, a former Churchwarden who died earlier this year. He was a maintenance man par excellence
with a power tool for everything and limitless skill and patience dedicated to the maintenance of our church building.
Photo credit: Andy Sillitt
Wed 17 Nov
Yes it's almost Advent so once again Mary, Joseph and Bonkey the Donkey will be travelling around the parish hopefully staying each night in a different home. This year again we are running it virtually.
The Holy Family can stay in your home by using figures from your nativity set, dressing dolls or colouring templates you will be able to find here soon. Arrange a short virtual meet-up via Zoom or by phone to receive the Holy Family and then one as you pass them on to their next hosts. Feel free to meet in person if you are both happy to! It’s a great way to meet others from Church and reflect on the travels of Mary and Joseph during Advent.
Please sign up now for a date HERE
Please contact Jen if you have any questions - firstname.lastname@example.org or 07792 242 710.
Mon 15 Nov
Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness have just produced their Annual Report - it makes inspiring reading HERE
Thurs 11 Nov
Balance CIO, our partner in our Community Cafe, has produced its Autumn newsletter. Take a look HERE
to find out more about the great work they do. You should recognise some familiar faces!
Wed 10 Nov
In time for Remembrance Day tomorrow we have uploaded our WW1 Exhibition boards onto the website HERE
Thurs 4 Nov
If you miss being able to pick up a copy of the Diocesan newspaper 'The Bridge'
you can look at it online HERE
and if you have never heard of it, even more reason to take a look!
Tues 26 Oct
Apologies for this late post - there is still much important action and praying to be done . . .
There is estimated to be over 100,000 victims of slavery in the UK today
Here are a few of the signs you may see of victims of slavery today, a worker may:
Show signs of physical or psychological abuse and untreated injuries
Look malnourished or unkempt, or appear withdrawn and neglected
Seem under the control or influence of others
Wear the same clothes every day
Wear no safety equipment even if their work requires it
Be collected and dropped off on a regular basis early in the morning or late at night. In a crowded minibus with other workers
Reluctant to seek help and avoid eye contact
Appear frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers
Who to do if you suspect someone is a victim of slavery?
If there is an emergency and someone is in immediate danger, call 999.
If you would like to report any non-emergency suspicious activity in your local area then call your local police on 101 or go to your local police station.
Call CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
If you need advice or support on a modern slavery issue then you can call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700. It operates 24 hour a day, 365 days a year.
Always remember that if you are offered a service – car wash, nail bar, building work that seems to be too good to be true it almost certainly is and someone is suffering!
For more information see the websites of Stop the Traffik
or The Clewer Initiative
Fri 1 Oct
Sleep Out to Help Out
On Friday 15 October, young people from St Matthew's, St George's, and St Paul's Churches will be sleeping overnight in Church to raise money for Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness (KCAH). Please show your support by sponsoring them here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Fuel-KCAH
Or donations can be given to Jen Houghton.
Sun 26 Sept
This morning in our joint service at 10am celebrating St Matthew's Weekend and Harvest we are inviting everyone to offer to do something to serve the church. We have all been given gifts and abilities - even if we don't think they are very important - and together they can run a church. Pretty much every job is covered and there are lots!
We want everyone to feel involved in this so if you are watching online HERE
is the form - please download, complete and send it to us. Sorry there is no clever online poll to complete but an old-fashioned piece of paper! Alternatively you could take look at the form and then just email us through the contact page of the website HERE
with your offering.
Mon 13 Sept
For those who would like to read and think through some more around the issues raised in our current sermon series on 'Reaping a rich harvest in Ruth' there is a useful toolkit on the Church of England's website which you can find HERE
. It us particularly aimed at the Afghan refugee crisis but has some much wider resources as well.
Thurs 10 Sept
Feels like a new term has begun and there is certainly lots of activity here!
to find out about our Heritage Open Day this coming Saturday
Be ready to celebrate our St Matthew's Weekend with the following:
Get your tickets for another-not-too-far-AwayDay, following the great success or our first AwayDay back in 2018.
And finally we are beginning The Bereavement Journey Course on Tues 28 Sept - details below.
Tues 27 July
To find out more about re-planting the new garden - please click HERE
Sun 25 July
Following the PCC meeting last week it has now been decided that from 5 September we shall return to our old service pattern with slightly changed timings.
The traditional service with choir and organ will start at 9am. This slightly earlier start time will accommodate the second service (with band and children’s groups) starting at 10.45am.
These new service times will trial through the autumn although we confirm that the order of the services will not change.
Apologies to those who would have preferred a different time – taking into account the preferences of everyone was not possible.
Remembering, Reflecting and Recovering
Here are the Pandemic Experience Sheets
we looked at in the service this morning so you can follow the links
For the Family
For Young People
And finally the link to the FREE App which was mentioned - you can download HERE
from the Google story or HERE
from the Apple Store.
This is what the makers say about it:
We're delighted to bring you the new Sanctuary app, featuring Together Again, a game to kickstart conversations about wellbeing and faith.
Throughout lockdown, checking on each others’ wellbeing has been an important part of life together. Together Again continues this conversation as we move into a new season, generating questions to help us explore the challenges of the year, as well as the lighter moments.
"What activity restores your soul or brings you joy?"
"Name one thing you don't want to forget from last year.''
Whether it's two friends on a walk, a family sharing a meal, or a group gathered around a campfire—meaningful connections can happen anywhere.
As recent changes and the easing of restrictions start to impact us, these questions are designed to help us connect with each other and pace our recovery. Discover a simple way to keep the wellbeing conversation alive in our faith communities and beyond with Together Again.
In the app you'll find:
Together Again, a conversation-starting game
Links to emergency mental health support
Access to a suite of free Sanctuary resources to support faith and mental health
Ways to take the conversation further with The Sanctuary Course
If you'd like to meet up on a Wednesday in August to discuss this please let Helen know either day time or evening.
Thurs 22 July
After discussion at PCC in which there was an incredibly wide set of views (expressed generously and sensitively) and the guidance from the central church (which you can read for yourself HERE
if you are interested and have half an hour! ) we have decided that this Sunday, 25 July, we will seek to observe all the same rules as last Sunday
This will be a relief to some and a cause of frustration for others.
Over the coming weeks during August we will gradually look to ease certain of the restrictions but we intend for the next few weeks at least (and subject to prevailing conditions)
to continue the social distancing in the pews,
once singing begins in church to do so with masks on
to allow masks to be removed while seated, if individuals wish
to continue track and trace
Obviously we do not have legal backing to enforce any of this but we hope that people attending will comply.
If you have any questions or comments please do get in touch with Helen, Mike or Jackie
Sat 10 July
If you would like to look at the Diocesan newspaper The Bridge for this month - please click HERE
Sun 4 July
If you feel strongly about being able to be allowed to sing in church once again, you may want to sign the petition HERE.
If 10,000 signatures are received, the government commit to responding to the petition.
Thank you to all those (over 30) who contributed to our Maintenance Morning in so many different ways yesterday. If you missed out we will be compiling a list of jobs which still need doing and it would be great if some of these could be tackled in August - more details to follow or ask Jackie and Mike.
ALSO a BIG thank you to the girls from Surbiton High School who came and did some great work on Friday to add to the efforts of our maintenance weekend. They showed such hard work, creativity and commitment we are very grateful to them all.
Sat 26 June
And here is the link to the Facebook page on which our bell ringers feature for the anniversary celebrations (see below).
Bell-ringing event at St Matthew’s on Saturday 26 June at 12.00 noon
As you may know, St Matthew’s Church has an unusual set of bells which includes what is known as
an Ellacombe Chime. This is an arrangement whereby bells (hemispherical ones in our case) can be
played by one bell-ringer using a series of ropes looking
a bit like a harp, and is named after a Reverend
Ellacombe who invented the system in 1821. It is said
that he devised the mechanism so that all the bells
could be rung by one trusted person without involving
a band of unruly and perhaps drunken ringers!
As this is the 200 th anniversary of the reverend
gentleman’s invention, all churches which have a
working set of Ellacombe chimes have been invited to
take part in a ‘celebration ring’ this Saturday (26 th June)
at 12 noon. We are intending to be one of only 78
churches in the UK taking part in this, as Ellacombe
systems are now relatively rare, especially ones that work well and are in regular use. Our bells were fully refurbished during the tower restoration two years ago.
Bells throughout the world will be ringing on Saturday, starting in New Zealand. They will be heard in each of the major time zones, played at noon local time in each location. They will make their way to Surbiton, then across the Americas, finishing in Vancouver, Canada, 17 hours after they first started.
The Ellacombe system allows the ringer to play tunes, and you may have heard carols and hymns being played before some of our services last Christmas and Easter.
We hope you will enjoy hearing the bells on
this special occasion. We will have a team of
ringers in the tower so that no one person
gets exhausted! Do look in to the church on
Saturday between 12.00 and 1pm, if you
would like. We can tell you a little bit more
about the bells, and will have a replica
practice frame at the back of the church
which will allow you to try your hand. We
also have cameras in the tower which will
allow you to see the action from ground
Captain Nicholas Lebey (Church Army) is being ordained in Southwark Cathedral this coming Saturday at 11am and will be the new pioneer curate at St George's. If you would like to watch the service HERE
is the link